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Nothing less than a visionary, Ian Schrager co-founded Studio 54, the legendary 1970s stomping ground of Manhattan’s notorious party crowd, and later on gifted the planet’s discerning travelers with the boutique hotel concept, revolutionizing an entire industry along the way. On top of his game ever since, Schrager initially launched his newest hospitality concept Public in Chicago in 2011, and now, after having found a prefect location, it has finally bowed in his hometown of New York City. The format aims to capture luxury in a contemporary way, replacing the usual frills and perks with unique experiences, an above average personalized service, settings that inspire rather than being marveled at, and last but not least, all of the aforementioned at a more accessible level, or in schrager’s words, in a more democratized luxury context.

Service and comfort are at the heart of public, and these elements have been completely rethought for this new brand response to the desires and needs of savvy guests. As said, Public’s service is tailor-made, but also knowledgeable and effective on many levels, and is readily provided by specially trained public advisors. In other words, they’re the go-to peeps to get things done, even a thing or two you’d think impossible to achieve. Obviously, new technology is available, but it’s not implemented for the sake of it, and is equally thought out. Wifi is free and fast, and apple tv is installed in every room on the premises, allowing guests to watch anything at anytime, order food, and expedite communication via a custom-designed, state of the art chat bot.

Other thoughtful details are 12 easy to reach outlets and usb ports in all of the 367 guest rooms and communal workspaces within the public spaces. Being Schrager’s concoction, Public obviously is a design-led property, but created in a non-intrusive way. The ambiance reflects a meticulously created balance, oozing sophisitication and sumptuousness that allows anyone to feel right at home. The Public spaces were designed to bring people together, create community, and to connect work, leisure, fun and culture. And it’s the latter aspect which Schrager has extrapolated into the realm of gastronomy and lifestyle, creating a number of appealing venues that can be considered destinations in their own right.

First and foremost, there’s public kitchen, a restaurant helmed by acclaimed french chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and serving an array of dishes that reflect the city’s allure as a global melting pot. The setting is chic, but not formal, and features a smoker and both a wood-burning oven and grill as a decorative focal point. Part grocery, part coffee parlour, and part lunch spot, Louis offers equally eclectic favours, but here it’s all about organic slow-food, served in a casual setting. As for drinks, Public offers no less than three watering holes, each with a different vibe. But in terms of nocturnal debauchery, the jewel in the crown has to be Public Arts. Concepted as an avant-garde performance space, it’ll present a rotating programme of various cutting-edge cultural events, from artsy and intellectual, to frolicky and fun.

Design: Public hotel

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